Text: Edgar Allan Poe, “To M. L. S——” (Text-C), ­The Works of the Late Edgar Allan Poe­ (1850), 2:111


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­ [page 111:]

TO M. L. S——.

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OF all who hail thy presence as the morning —

Of all to whom thine absence is the night —

The blotting utterly from out high heaven

The sacred sun — of all who, weeping, bless thee

Hourly for hope — for life — ah! above all,

For the resurrection of deep-buried faith

In Truth — in Virtue — in Humanity —

Of all who, on Despair’s unhallowed bed

Lying down to die, have suddenly arisen

At thy soft-murmured words, “Let there be light!”

At the soft-murmured words that were fulfilled

In the seraphic glancing of thine eyes —

Of all who owe thee most — whose gratitude

Nearest resembles worship — oh, remember

The truest — the most fervently devoted,

And think that these weak lines are written by him —

By him who, as he pens them, thrills to think

His spirit is communing with an angel’s.


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Notes:

“M. L. S——” was Mrs. Marie Louise Shew, Poe’s friend and Virginia’s nurse.

In 1969, Mabbott commented that no file of the Home Journal for 1847 was available, although he had seen the publisher’s file and felt that the 1847 text was “verbally exactly like Griswold’s text” (Poems, 1:400). This speculation has been verified by checking an original edition of the Home Journal for March 13, 1847. Indeed, it is identical in punctuation as well as verbally, with only trivial differences in formatting (such as the use of double quote marks rather than single ones).


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[S:1 - Works, 1850] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Poems - To M. L. S—— (Text-C)